MAC (Media Access Control) is a unique address to every network interface that connects to a network, either local network (LAN) or the Internet. That includes your Windows 10 computer, other computers, router, phone, network printer even the Apple TV. Anything connects to the network has a unique MAC identifier which embedded on the hardware. MAC address also called as “Physical Address” of a device. Today we are going to show you how to change the MAC address in Windows 10 without any 3rd party tools/software.
Why Change MAC address in Windows 10?
The truth is, you can’t really change the MAC address of a device (it can be Windows 10 desktop or laptop computer, other OS computers and network devices) because it is assigned/written on the device physically while manufacturing. When we talk about changing the MAC address of a network device, it is about faking the Operating System of the device and telling/showing the different MAC address, called Mac Spoofing.
As MAC address is important like IP address of the device for network communication, it can be used to control the network traffic from your device. If any MAC filtering system or policies in place at your organization or home to control the network traffic, you can change the MAC address by the following method to bypass those restrictions. If someone blacklisted your device by the MAC address of your Windows 10 computer, changing the MAC address will allow you to avoid the blacklist.
Here is the way to Change the MAC Address in Windows 10 (and 8.1/7)
There are plenty of ways available to change the MAC address in Windows 10 with 3rd party tools and software, but here we are going to discuss the simple way we can do without installing any tools. We have earlier mentioned the way of finding the MAC address on the local and remote computer.
To recap, here is the way to find the MAC address easily.
Open the command prompt and type “ipconfig /all”, depending on the number of network cards (like LAN port and Wi-Fi adapter); you will see the MAC address of the network adapters.
Here is the MAC address of the computer I’m demonstrating.
To change it, go to the Network connections in the Control panel, also you can right click on the network adapter from notification area and open network and connection settings.
Right click on the network adapter you need to change, then click Configure.
Under the ‘Advanced’ tab you will find the option to change. Depending on the network card and driver, you may find different names. In my case, it was mentioned as “Locally Administrated Address”, in some other Windows 10 computers you may find as “Network Address”. Click that and change it.
- I highly recommend to take a screenshot or record the actual MAC address of your Windows 10 network adapter before you change it. As I suggested earlier, changing MAC address on a computer is mostly for temporary use only, so you may need to put back the old physical address later.
- You can’t just simply change the MAC address in Windows 10 or 8.1 for anything. There should be a slightly identical and the format should be maintained to match the existing address. Since it is related to the manufacture and type of the network card, completely changing the address will not work. Though it will not throw any error messages if you change it wrongly, it will not take effect at the end. Obviously, just changing one digit or letter going to make the change in the MAC address of your computer, hence do not try to change the entire format and address. In my case, I changed it as below (you could see that I did not change everything).
Once you apply the changes, it will disconnect the network adapter and reconnect. Now try the same “ipconfig /all” command. You must see the different MAC address if your change is accepted by the Operating System and network adapter driver.
Here is the changed MAC address on my Windows 10 computer.
That is the easy and simple method to change the MAC address in your Windows 10 laptop or desktop computer. There is another method of changing it through registry modification, but when we have this simple method in control panel settings, we should not try the complicated registry changes. Also, third-party tools to modify the MAC address not required.
Hope this guide is useful and helpful in overcoming any MAC address related restrictions and filtering at your network.